Like his father, James I, he created a lot of tension during his reign, why? His mistakes: 1.Ruling by Divine Right 2.Marrying Henrietta Maria who was a Catholic 3.Taking George Villiers as an advisor 4.The Eleven Years of Tyranny 5.Ship Money 6.The English Book of Prayers
1. Ruling By Divine Right: Charles I came to the throne in 1625 after the death of his father, James I. Like his father, he believed in the Divine Right of Kings. He, thus, believed in the absolute power of Kings. His wife, Henrietta Maria, encouraged him for she came from a background with the same belief.Divine Right of Kings
2. Marrying Henrietta Maria of France She believed in the Divine Right of Kings. Charles married Princess Henrietta Maria of France, a Catholic. Parliament were concerned about the marriage because they did not want to see a return to Catholicism and they believed that a Catholic Queen would raise their children to the Catholic faith.Catholic
3. George Villiers, an advisor! Instead of listening to the advice of his Parliament, Charles chose the Duke of Buckingham, who influenced him a great deal, as his main advisor. Parliament disliked Buckingham and resented his level of power over the King. In 1623 he had been responsible for taking England to war with Spain and parliament used this to bring a charge of treason against him.
4.The Eleven Years of Tyranny One of the major mistakes of Charles I is that whenever he needed Parliament he would call it, and whenever it opposed him, he would dissolve it. When his friend and advisor was accused of high treason, the House of Commons tried to impeach him, but Charles dissolved Parliament in order to save him. Of course, this created a great conflict. His determined belief in the Divine Right of Kings led to his dismissing parliament in 1629 and ruling without them for 11 years usually called the “Personal Rule.”
5. “Ship Money” 1. when a new King or Queen came to the throne parliament voted for their income to be paid for life. In Charles I's case, though, it was only granted for one year. (Why? Because The members of parliament wanted to make sure that Charles did not dismiss them. However, their plan did not work, Charles chose to rule alone and found his own way of getting money.) 2. The fact that he did not have a parliament to grant him money meant that he had to tax his people heavier. 3.” Ship Money” was a kind of tax paid to raise the funds in times of war. However, Charles I, decided that it should be paid all the time. Many attempted to resist payment, but Charles I declared that the tax was the king’s prerogative.
6. The English Book of Prayers Charles demanded that the new English Prayer Book be used in Scottish Churches. The Scots were more anti- Catholic than the English and many of them were Puritans. Puritans The Scots saw the Book as a vehicle for introducing Anglicanism to Scotland. Therefore, great enmity grew between the English and the Scots which eventually led to the Scots rising against the English.
This led Charles to realize his mistakes and withdraw the Book, but it was too late! The anger of the Scots had been unleashed; they crossed from Scotland to England, and Charles, now, had to deal with this invading foreign army. Charles I felt he was in a tough situation that he took the fateful step of recalling Parliament. The Triennial Act was passed that stated: 1.Parliament could not be dissolved without its own consent. 2.Parliament had to be called at least every 3 years.
The Grand Remonstrance: Moreover, Parliament passed the Grand Remonstrance, a long, wide- ranging document indicating all the abuses of power Charles had committed against the state and Parliament since the beginning of his reign. Eventually, all London rose against Charles I leading to the English Civil War.
The English Civil War - 1641 The Civil war broke out as a consequence of Charles I’s fateful mistakes. Charles’ foolish try to arrest 5 members of Parliament on the advice of his wife, brought matters to a head; it was the last straw that people had to take some action. Religious and economic issues added to the differences between the supporters of the monarchy (Cavaliers) and the supporters of Parliament (Roundheads).
The main leader of the Civil War was Oliver Cromwell. His importance: 1.He began his military career by raising a Cavalry troop, known as the Ironsides Cavalry and alter known as the Model Army which was very diciplined and well-trained. 2.His leadership in the Battle of Marston Moor, resulted in the Parliamentarian victory 3.He was able to defeat the King, bringing an end to the monarchy’s claim to absolute power. 4.He charged the king with high treason, so the House of Commons passed an Act of Parliament, creating a court for Charles’ trial, and later he was beheaded. (Charles I claimed that no court had jurisdiction over a monarch, but Cromwell was able to convince 10 judges to sign the death warrant of Charles I leading to his execution). 5.He declared England a Republic in 1649.
Oliver Cromwell’s beliefs Cromwell had the same beliefs as bloody Mary; that God has placed him in that place to fix things out. Therefore, he established a greater religious intolerance. He was very strict and with all his religious zeal he created an extremely Christian nation. (he ruled as a lord protector).
Changes brought by Cromwell: 1.He forbid all kinds of entertainment. For example, he closed all theatres, forbid Christmas celebrations, etc… 2.He forced people to go to Church on Sundays and who didn’t was severely punished. 3.He increased the conflict between the English and the Irish for he treated the Irish brutally and violently. 4.He taxed the cavaliers in two ways: either by heavy taxation or by the confiscation of the lands. 5.He closed all the “ale houses” which were the only form of relief for the poor.
People’s reaction: People eventually got sick and started to long for the return of the king after trying this rule of religious and moral kind of republic; they felt that joy was gone out of their lives because it was only dedicated to prayers. They started to feel the awkwardness of this kind of “rule;” as they’ve been always used to a constitutional monarchy.
Now, there was no King, no Parliament either. The solution came when Cromwell died. Ironically, he nominated his son Richard to be the protector of the people, but he refused and this was a great opportunity to the people to bring back kinship. Therefore, Charles II, was offered the throne. In 1660, Charles II ascended the throne bringing a lot of fruitful changes.
Charles II The Merry Monarch A fun-loving man; the exact opposite of Cromwell.
Changes during his reign: A patron of arts and less restrictive than many of his predecessors. Therefore, when he ascended the throne he re- opened theatres. Most interestingly, during his reign we see the first woman actress to appear on stage. (until then role of women were played by men).
This woman was called Nell Gwyn, a young woman who used to sell oranges on the door of the church.
A Royal Society … Charles II was not at all a cruel man; he restored all what has been forbidden. He created a Royal Society, one that encouraged science, discovery, experimentation, research, eventually leading to the age of the Enlightenment. Therefore, his reign was usually referred to as the Restoration period. (1660)
Charles II was married, but never had a legitimate son. However, he has a lot of illegitimate ones, one of which was James Crafts. The problem now was: who will inherit the throne after the death of Charles II? There were 2 options: 1.Either his illegitimate son, James Craft 2.Or his brother James II ***The problem with James II was that he was a Catholic, but because Charles believed in a constitiutional monarchy and it was greater than his love to his son, he was in favor of his brother James and thus he nominated him to ascend the throne after his death.
Two disasters happened during Charles II’s reign: 1.The Plague - 1655 1.The Great Fire of London - 1666: Because houses were made of wood, it spread very quickly. It was, however, considered a blessing in disguise: a.It put an end to the plague because it killed all the rats. b.The fact that London was destroyed meant that it had to be rebuilt. Beautiful buildings were, therefore, built changing London into a beautiful new city.
James converted to Catholicism in 1669. Despite his conversion, James II succeeded to the throne peacefully after his brother’s death. When his second (Roman Catholic) wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to a son, it seemed that a Roman Catholic dynasty would be established. The Glorious Revolution: This revolution is called ’Glorious’ because it achieved its objective without any bloodshed. (Bloodless Revolution) It’s main purpose was to get a Protestant King to the throne. James II’s sister Mary who was married to a Protestant, William of Orange, was thus offered the throne. She ruled along with her husband.
Two “acts” were passed: 1.The Toleration Act which stipulated freedom of worship; there was no more internal turmoil and no more religious conflict. (religious reform) 2.The Settlement Act which stated that from now on only a Protestant Monarch could rule.
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